The Chicago Blackhawks, a historic Original Six franchise released a statement to the Chicago Sun Times that they will not be changing their name.
‘‘The Chicago Blackhawks name and logo symbolizes an important and historic person, Black Hawk of Illinois’ Sac & Fox Nation,” the statement began. “[Black Hawks’] leadership and life has inspired generations of Native Americans, veterans and the public.’’
Chicago Blackhawks standing firm on team name
While teams like the Washington Redskins and Cleveland Indians have issued statements of their own considering a name change, the Blackhawks are defending theirs. “We recognize there is a fine line between respect and disrespect, and we commend other teams for their willingness to engage in that conversation,” the Hawks said.
The name honors Black Hawk of Sauk and Fox Nation
The Blackhawks and their logo honors Black Hawk of Illinois’ Sac and Fox Nation. Born in 1767, he contested the 1804 Treaty of St. Louis that was believed to be given by a tribal spokesman. He sided with the British in the War of 1812 and his defiance of the occupation of tribal lands led to the Black Hawk War of 1832.
‘‘We celebrate Black Hawk’s legacy by offering ongoing reverent examples of Native American culture, traditions and contributions, providing a platform for genuine dialogue with local and national Native American groups,” the Blackhawks explained. “As the team’s popularity grew over the past decade, so did that platform and our work with these important organizations.”
Blackhawks moving forward
The Chicago Blackhawks concluded their statement with a resolve to move forward. “We will continue to serve as stewards of our name and identity and will do so with a commitment to evolve,” they explained. “Our endeavors in this area have been sincere and multifaceted, and the path forward will draw on that experience to grow as an organization and expand our efforts.’’